This Father’s Day, we at Jouvay are celebrating one of our fathers, Larry Burdick, who founded Jouvay Chocolate in partnership with Grenada’s cocoa farmers to make chocolate in Grenada, a lush, volcanic island known for having some of the highest quality cocoa beans in the world.
As a pioneer of fine handmade chocolate in America, Larry first visited Grenada with his family in 2003. While exploring the island, Larry was struck by the number and quality of Grenada’s cocoa trees, which grow naturally in a regenerative ecosystem, surrounded by spice, fruit, and other shade trees, contributing to the unique “terroir” of Grenadian cocoa. Visiting farms, he began talking to farmers about partnering to build a chocolate factory on the island. The goals of the project would be to create a gastronomic product reflecting the unique terroir of Grenadian cocoa; and to enable cocoa growers to benefit from the value-added process of chocolate-making, rather than selling their beans at commodity prices to chocolate manufacturers in Europe and the U.S.
To spearhead the project, Larry partnered with the farmers’ Grenada Cocoa Association to build a large-scale chocolate-making facility in Victoria, St Mark. They named it the Diamond Chocolate Factory. Today, it is one of Grenada’s largest chocolate making factories, producing cocoa products for customers throughout Grenada and the Caribbean, and now importing chocolate to the States.
Larry’s vision–which is being continued by his family in Walpole, NH and their partners in Grenada–is twofold: to help farmers benefit more from their hard work than the commodity market allows; and to make exceptional tasting chocolate from some of the finest cocoa in the world.
Today, Larry is semi-retired from chocolate making, but his commitment to the Grenada chocolate project continues, mostly through his unending support of his children, who are now carrying on his mission.
Happy Father’s Day to all the loving Dads out there, who believe, like Larry, that no dream is too big, or too small. Dream on.
The Jouvay Team